Was I correct in cancelling my monthly donation?

CAFOD employs Tina Beattie as a Theological Advisor –

Concerning Prof. Tina Beattie, Catholic, theologian, pro-abortion,and pro-gay marriage
Prof. Tina Beattie is a leading advocate of dissent in the English Catholic Church from major doctrines and disciplines of the Faith. She was one of the signatories of the letter recently published in The Times that quoted selectively from Cardinal Hume in order to support the government’s plans for homosexual marriage.

Prof. Beattie has also spoken in support of the proposition, ‘This House would legalise same-sex marriage in England and Wales’, which was recently debated at Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton. She also publicly supports the newly formed dissenting campaign group, ‘Call to Action’ lead by seven English priests.

Prof.Beatttie’s title at Digby Stuart College is Professor Theology and Religious Studies Programme Convener MA Religion & Human Rights. She is a former President of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain and a member of CAFOD’s Theological Advisory Group. According to the Roehampton website Prof. Beattie is ‘ often asked to give lectures and run workshops for parishes, religious communities and interfaith groups.’

Here is a brief selection of Prof. Tina Beatties’ writings on the Catholic Faith:

In an examination of the morality of abortion Prof. Beattie justifies the argument that the embryo is not a person by using the doctrine of the Trinity

‘Given that in Christian theology the understanding of personhood is fundamentally relational because it bears the image of the Triune God, it is hard to see how an embryo can be deemed a person before even the mother enters into a rudimentary relationship with it. As many as one in four pregnancies may spontaneously abort during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, often without the woman knowing that she was pregnant. As some Catholic ethicists point out, the logical corollary of this position is that a woman should baptise every menstrual period – just in case.’

‘To acknowledge that there are cases when early abortion is the lesser of two evils is not to be pro-abortion, any more than to acknowledge that sometimes war may be a necessary evil means that one is pro-war.’

To read Prof. Beattie’s article go to:


[Protect the Pope comment: Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of sacramental theology knows that the sacrament of Baptism cannot be administered to a dead child. In the tragic circumstances of a miscarriage or stillbirth the child has already died. For Prof. Beattie to write that a ‘woman should baptise every menstrual period - just in case’ not only indicates a lack of basic knowledge on her part, but also displays a shocking insensitivity towards Catholic parents who are suffering the grief of miscarriage or stillbirth.]

Prof. Beattie uses the doctrine of the marriage between Christ and His Church to support gay marriage

‘If we allow the marriage between Christ and the Church to become the mystery within which all human loving participates and towards which all human love is drawn, and if we accept that sexual love is good even when it is non-procreative, can we not go beyond this “impossibility” of gay marriage? ‘

‘Marriage is not just about sex but about a lifelong commitment to bodily unity in difference with another human being in all the interwoven materiality of our lives. Yes, of course, we are our bodies, and in some species (not all) the reproduction of the species depends upon heterosexual intercourse. Yet couldn’t marriage become an inclusive rather than an exclusive sacrament?’

‘If we want to understand the sacrament, we need to look to Christ and the Church, not to the abundant diversity of participation within that sacramental love that constitutes our bodily human relationships. I’ve been married for 37 years and I have four children, but the loving relationships of my gay friends have helped me to understand more deeply what marriage means as a partnership of equals. I hope that they in turn have been enriched by their married heterosexual friends, and have better understood what their love means within the sacramental love of Christ and the Church.’

‘In these times of radical change in our understanding of sexuality and human dignity (especially the full and equal dignity of women in this life and not just in the life to come), maybe we heterosexuals need the marriages of our homosexual friends to help us to understand what marriage looks like when it’s not corrupted by traditions of domination and subordination.’

To read Prof. Beattie’s contribution go to:


[Protect the Pope comment: Prof. Beattie twice suggests that the theology of Christ’s marriage to the Church justifies the case for homosexual marriage without explaining how. She ignores the basic scriptural datum of Christological nuptial theology that Christ is ‘he’ and the Church is ‘she’ and that Christ is the bridegroom and the Church the bride. (cf. Eph 5:22-33). ]

Protect the Pope Comment: Of course Prof. Beattie has the right as a Catholic to question and doubt such fundamental and sensitive doctrines of Faith, but only in private, seeking advice and guidance from her spiritual director, priest and bishop. But surely Prof. Beattie does not have the right as a Catholic to use her position as a professor at a Catholic foundation college to publicly disseminate dissent and disloyalty in the Church? But even more objectionable is Prof. Beattie voicing her dissent to young people under her care as a teacher.
cont protectthepope.com/?p=5626

It depends on what sort of influence Prof. Beattie really has on the work CAFOD is doing. If CAFOD solicits a broad range of opinions (there may be good reasons to do this), and if they have a good system for separating the wheat from the chaff, perhaps it’s all right. I have not examined it close enough to say.

If in doubt, and certainly if it causes you anxiety, cancel your donation.

I think you were OK to cancel your donation. You may find a more worthy cause to support that makes you comfortable in giving. Peace.

why do you ask?

That article is dated 2012. Is this woman still employed by CAFOD now (as of 2016)?

If so, then yes, it is better not to support organizations that cooperate formally with “dissident” or “liberal” Catholics. I’ve always found that contributions at a local / parish / city / community level have more immediate effects - and a far lower likelihood of such untoward strings being attached - than donating to big organizations. Subsidiarity FTW! :slight_smile:

I don’t know what CAFOD stands for, but I don’t agree with her reasoining for justifying abortion and gay marriage.

I don’t know what it stands for either. But it’s safe to say I’m careful with my donations enough to know what I would and would not donate to.

Ive been donating to them for years, wondering if I jumped the gun, I now donate to the church to help train seminarians, in poor countries.

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development

FYI: About CAFOD - What we do and who we are

thanks for the link! :thumbsup:

yes she is still employed by them.

it sounds like overseas development covers a broad range.


I myself am wary of overseas charities as they seem to always be in the middle of controversy, mostly involving reproduction issues.

I’ve seen enough controversy to be gun shy about any charity actually.

I have never heard of this organization, I see at the bottom of their information page that they claim to be an official aid organization of the Catholic Church of England and Wales. However their employment of a dissident professor who appears to be opposed to several doctrines of the Church would certainly give me enough pause to question their orthodoxy as an organization, having never heard of them before and knowing nothing else about them. I think you were right to cancel your donation, and I’m sure you can find other worthy causes to contribute to.

I agree!

Aid to the Church in need is a worthy alternative as is the Little Way association.CAFOD has lost its way and forgotton how to be Catholic.

This may be the case but I couldn’t find any evidence of it. I did, however, find a reference that ‘Along with her academic duties Prof Beattie also volunteers for CAFOD’s Theological Reference Group.’ according to catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/academic-urges-polish-bishops-to-support-early-safe-and-legal-abortion-for-disabled-babies/

There are many other Catholic charities, though, if you’re still not happy with CAFOD.

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